For love of the game
Senior lacrosse player plans career in sports administration
Valerie “Val” Heflin ’19 was shy as a student in her Orange County, California, high school. So when she moved across the country to attend Hollins, she decided, “I’m gonna be a new me. I want to be outgoing.” The single-sex environment taught her to speak up. Now, she says, “I love raising my hand.”
A senior majoring in communication studies, with a minor in psychology, Heflin has been building toward a career she imagined for herself in high school: working in sports administration. As a basketball player in high school and a lacrosse player at Hollins, she knows firsthand the culture of athletes. “I like the sociability of being on a team,” she says. Hollins athletes are “very genuine; we support each other’s games. If you’re an athlete, you’re just sort of expected to be there. I don’t think you see that at every college campus.”
She wrote her senior thesis on how broadcasters use the “female apologetic” when talking about female athletes—a term she defined “as ways [broadcasters] describe female athletes as feminine to make up for the fact that they’re athletic, usually a masculine trait. For example, they’ll say, ‘She gracefully fell.’ A lot of the time they won’t say anything—and not saying anything is almost worse, because no one likes a silent broadcast. But because they aren’t experts in [women’s athletics], they have nothing to say.”
She serves as athletic chair for the Student Government Association, a role in which she’s a “bridge between the student government and the rest of the student body to the athletics department and student athletes.”
And she spent her senior J-Term interning with the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, or ODAC, of which Hollins is a member. She helped her supervisor, Bethany Dannelly, director of championships, get ready for upcoming basketball and swimming tournaments, made playlists and updated record books, and attended coaches’ meetings. The internship “definitely reaffirmed what I want to do professionally,” she says.
Her experience as a student-athlete at Hollins also confirms her decision to stay in the field. “I have nothing but positive things to say about [Director of Athletics] Myra Sims and [Head Lacrosse Coach] Kate Keagins. Hollins sports are definitely getting better and performing at a higher level. I’m so excited to see what happens in the next two years.”
Photo by Sharon Meador
The Influence of Women: A showcase of student artists
Sponsored by Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Works by Hollins students highlighted an exhibition that explored and celebrated the many ways women affect their worlds.
Students in Associate Professor of Art Jennifer Printz’s Intaglio Printmaking class contributed their creativity to The Influence of Women, which was on display at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM) through March 1, 2019.
“Each student produced two amazing prints about women who have influenced them, from friends, to family, to fictional heroines,” Printz explains.
Sponsored by VTCSOM’s Creativity in Healthcare Education program, The Influence of Women is one of three exhibitions held annually for local artists to showcase their works to the community and to reinforce to medical students the importance of having a community connection.
Image credit: Rachel Jackson ’19, Hikaru, dry-point print with watercolor, 2018
Idella Glenn, special advisor on inclusivity and diversity; Board of Trustees Chair Alexandra Trower ’86; and Cheryl Taylor ’09, biology lab technician, were among those who spoke during the Hollins Day celebration in February about the institution’s beginning, the contributions made and milestones achieved over the past 177 years, what Hollins means to them now, and their vision for the future.
Photo by Sharon Meador